At Bethlehem we close prayer week with a focus on the value of reading and memorizing Scripture in the new year.
Justin Taylor has pulled together a list of possible ways to read the Bible in this new year.
I encourage all of us to take the first day of the year and plan how we are going to read the Bible. Don’t leave it to chance.
Update : I am going with the Discipleship Journal Plan for one main reason. Few things discourage us more from reading the Bible through in a year than falling behind. This plan gives five catch up days every month. This is absolutely golden! I just printed it out at 9 AM New Year’s Day.
Jesus did not say, “If you fast...” but “When you fast...” (Matthew 6:16). This will be new (even over the top) for some of you. So do a crazy thing in 2009. It might change your relationship with God. And your life.
Here’s a tiny bit of help. A bit on how. And a bit on why.
How to Fast
Pick a day of the week or a day of the month and plan to fast in 2009. Plan which meal or meals to skip. Skip them entirely, or do it with only juice or only water. There are no rules. There is only spiritual hunger being spoken and stoked with physical hunger.
Take some of the time you would have spent eating and read some scripture and take time to tell God why you are doing this and what yo…
Dear Desiring God Staff,
As 2008 fades into history, I want to tell you again what a precious, undeserved privilege it has been to serve with you in the mission of Desiring God. God granted 44 of you to serve at some time during 2008, 35 of whom remain while the rest have followed the Lord’s call into other fields.
Most of the work—and the most important work—of Desiring God was accomplished this year through you. 1 Peter 2:17 says “Honor everyone.” And so I want to briefly honor each one of you:
Larry Agnew, your godly, pastoral leadership of our remarkable volunteer corps is priceless. When you are here, a sage walks among us.
Scott Anderson, your humble and highly skilled le…
One of the most memorable moments of my seminary days was during the school year 1968-69 at Fuller Seminary on the third level of the classroom building just after a class on systematic theology. A group of us were huddled around James Morgan, the young theology teacher who was saying something about the engagement of Christians in social justice. I don’t remember what I said, but he looked me right in the eye and said, “John, I love Jesus Christ.”
It was like a thunderclap in my heart. A strong, intelligent, mature, socially engaged man had just said out loud in front of a half dozen men, “I love Jesus Christ.” He was not preaching. He was not pronouncing on any issue. He was not singi…
How do you keep your prayers from sinking into mindless ruts of repetition?
One way is to make a list of what they prayed for in the New Testament, and pray that.
That’s what I did for myself. I keep the list at my prayer bench and review it periodically and sometimes pray right through it.
You might want to print it out and do the same.
Here are some of the reasons you should pray and meditate over biblical truth.
1. Biblical truth saves.
Take heed to yourself and to your doctrine; hold to that, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:16)
2. Biblical truth frees from Satan.
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)
3. Biblical truth imparts grace and peace.
May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. (2 Peter 1:2)
4. Biblical truth sanctifies.
Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth. (John 17:17)
5. Biblical truth …
If you knew the struggles of the greatest of saints you might be heartened to press on in prayer in 2009.
John Newton (1725-1807)—slave trader, convert to Christ, author of “Amazing Grace,” pastor, fellow struggler—on a morning in April sometime between 1752 and 1756 wrote this:
Prayed over a part of the eighth of Romans in a way of paraphrase with some readiness. I greatly fail in the duty of meditation and am forced to use some artifice with myself to do it at all; thus sometimes I turn them into a prayer form, sometimes I suppose myself in imaginary conversation, sometimes that I am called upon to speak to a point.
Without something of this sort I am not…
At Bethlehem Baptist Church this is the beginning of prayer week. This is our way of encouraging each other to pray more consistently, more earnestly, more hopefully, and more biblically in 2009.
The best way to strengthen our faith and our resolve is to read what God has promised to those who pray. Here is a sampling:
Promises of Answered Prayer to Encourage Us to Pray with Hope
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.13 You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, …
My grandson Morrow and I imitate Joseph and Jesus on Christmas morning:
Merry Christmas to you all!
There are good reasons to dream of a white Christmas.
For one, God created crystal, blinding-white new snow to help us understand the contrast between our sinful old selves and the new persons he has made us into: “though your sins are like scarlet,they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).
For another, the first Christmas was one of the times that angels spoke to humans on God’s behalf. And one kind of snow fun reminds us of those Christmas angels.
May your CHRISTmas celebration be blessed. Have fun and give thanks for the birth of our Savior, whether or not you have snow!